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North of Wine Country: California’s Secret Clearlake Wedding and Event Venues

While I’ve lived in the Bay Area for 30 years, I took my very first trip to Lake County only recently when I rented a house on Clearlake for a much-needed family vacation. Now that I’ve finally visited, though, I’m already starting to wonder when I can return to this peaceful region north of the wine country. Of course I managed to scout out some ideal wedding ceremony, reception and rehearsal dinner sites while there. A couple of my new favorite places:

Makiivka Estate Makiivka Estate: Owner Jan Attard’s mission to create a taste of old Europe amongst California’s vineyards has already been achieved in their lovely ranch house, but I learned there are even bigger plans for this property. Situated on a picturesque stretch of organic farmland near Lakeport, Makiivka Estate will soon boast a reflecting pool, a spa and an olive grove for outdoor ceremonies. Proceeds from events will benefit an orphanage in Makiivka, in the Ukraine. Jan refers to this location as her “passion in progress,” and I’m confident that this passion of hers will quickly become the highly sought-after wedding venue she envisions.

Chapel at Terrill Cellars Terrill Cellars: If you get a thrill finding places off the beaten path, you might be just as drawn to Terrill Winery as I was. The Tuscan-style grounds include an adorable 22-seat chapel right next to their tasting room. Guests can stay in nearby Kelseyville, where we found a charming vacation rental with sunset views overlooking the entire lake.

I imagine that saying your vows in a place as quiet and natural as Clearlake can be a spiritual experience. If you’ve discovered some of your own wedding locations in this region, let me know so I can have a good excuse to go back.

Allison Posted by Allison on Aug 18, 2014.
Filed under CeremonyHoneymoons and TravelLocationsReceptionsRehearsal Dinner

Wedding Thank-You Notes: A Small Thing That’s a Big Deal

I rarely go to weddings (maybe it’s because most of my social circle is either already married or never going to be), but a year ago a friend invited me to one.

As my friend’s date I wasn’t obligated to bring a gift, but I’d I’d been told the bride and groom liked to cook, so I got them a few of my favorite kitchen gadgets from Sur La Table as a wedding present. I put my present on a table with dozens of other gifts, and hoped that it wouldn’t get lost in the pile.

Wedding Paper Divas Photo Thank You NoteI was fairly certain that soon after the wedding I would receive a thank-you note for my modest-but-thoughtful-and-super-practical gift. Alas, the postman never brought one. Months passed, and I wondered…Did the couple not like my gift? Had it disappeared? Been regifted? Eventually I just forgot about it altogether.

Until yesterday, that is. I flipped through my mail and was surprised to see the long-awaited thank-you note. Oh it was beautiful, all right—handwritten, very personal. But I have to say I had mixed emotions: Sure, it was great to know that my gift had been received and, in fact, “loved.” But I couldn’t help feeling that I shouldn’t have had to wait an entire year to learn that my present hadn’t been disliked, lost or regifted after all.

Actually, Emily Post states that thank-you notes should be written within 3 months of the receipt of the gift.

Moral of the story: Honor your guests—don’t wait a year to send out your thank-you notes!

To find the wedding invitation and thank-you note designers we love see Wedding Invitations.

Jan Posted by Jan on Apr 07, 2013.
Filed under Expert AdviceInvitationsVera Wang

Good Food, Good People: Tarpy’s Roadhouse

So there we were, on our annual company retreat. One of the highlights of our year. A chance for the whole Here Comes The Guide staff to be together, get some hard work done, and just hang out.

The good news: we were at Woods Hole in Pebble Beach. Gorgeous location, comfortable home perfect for our retreat, right on the ocean. We were getting lots of good work done and enjoying each other’s company. 

Food catered (with love) by Tarpy's RoadhouseThe bad news: 5 of the 8 us, including me, were very sick. We had The Flu. I, for one, can’t remember being that sick.

Then, the most wonderful thing happened. Through the front door swooped the lovely staff from Tarpy’s Roadhouse, there to make our dinner. But more than that, they took care of us. They made us tea, they served us in front of the TV so we could watch Glee and they whipped up fantastic, comforting food: a salad with apples, pecans and gorgonzola, steak and garlic mashed potatoes, Chilean sea bass with a mango relish and, finally, strawberry shortcake—yum!

Strawberry Shortcake by Tarpy's RoadhouseAfterward, they cleaned up while we all limped to bed. Still sick, but cared for and comforted.

Yes, the food was great, but the love they delivered with it was just what this sniffly group needed. If they can perform that kind of miracle off-site, imagine what they can do at their very own location. Thanks, Tarpy’s!

Meredith Posted by Meredith on Nov 14, 2012.
Filed under CeremonyFood and DrinkReceptionsRehearsal DinnerRestaurantsStuff We Love

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